Pakistani Newspaper attacks TCS over their coverage of the GU racism controversy
The News International criticises TCS coverage as an attempt “to deny natural justice” to GU President Arsalan Ghani
The News International, the first paper to report on the controversy now surrounding the GU has responded to TCS criticism of their original article. In particular, they have pointed to the apparent discrepancy between TCS’s inclusion of Arsalan Ghani's statement that he has lodged a complaint with university authorities and their later conclusion that “to date, we have not been able to find any evidence of racist behavior”. The News International alleges that TCS has “totally ignored” Ghani's statement, and has “in effect attempted to deny natural justice to a person who claims that he has been a victim of racial discrimination”.
Reporter Murtaza Ali Shah further defended his own reporting after TCS suggested that he “shows a clear editorial bias in support of current GU president Ghani”. In his defence, he asserts that a University source has told him that senior figures are “highly concerned” that a “relatively internal matter had gone global”, implying that his reporting was therefore based on facts rather than simply hearsay.
Ghani’s claim that he has been subjected to racist treatment from other members of the GU caused considerable controversy when the claims first became public nearly two weeks ago. At the most recent GU meeting on the 12th September, tensions between Ghani and the rest of the board were clearly high. Our reporter who attended said that Ghani spent most of the meeting sitting slightly apart from everyone else and resorted to quoting the GU constitution almost every time he spoke, usually arguing against the Graduate Board. A motion of censure against Ghani was also discussed, which received the backing of the GU secretary and others was mentioned in declarations of interest, but the meeting was adjourned before it was discussed.
In its response the Pakistani newspaper went on to further criticise TCS coverage of the CUSU elections earlier this year, citing their description of Akilhah Jeffers as "hilariously incompetent", and part of an alleged “campaign” against her by the student paper. However, TCS were in fact quoting Matthew Johnson's remarks about Jeffers at the time, rather than stating any editorial opinion of her. The former Cambridge University Conservative Association chairman also described another candidate, Ben Gliniecki, as a "full-on communist", and was criticising the political alignment of the candidates in general, not targeting Jeffers individually.
The article goes on to claim that “racism in Cambridge University is not new”. The University has yet to release any statement on Ghani's complaint.